In Tacoma, we took the Link (light rail) to the Amtrak station (501 Cascades train), as this trip was going to be entirely free from personal motor transportation. And you really don't need a car to get around Portland or downtown Tacoma. Portland has a really nice train station.
We arrived before lunch, found our hotel, dropped our things there, and rode into the city center on the Max (yellow line). Portland has a very comprehensive public transportation system, if rather unreliable when it comes to keeping a schedule.
I saw a Dick Blick on the way to Oblation Papers and Press so we stopped in and I got some Nature Print paper, which is cool stuff. I haven't had a sunny day that wasn't busy yet to use it, but I will soon.
Then we met Richard at Oblation and typed a bit on the typing station outside. I regret that I said nothing of consequence and nearly pounded out a couple sentences for the sake of a photo op. For shame.
Inside, our ever admirable typewriter revolution leader coerced the staff to let us get a tour round the back. Actually, they said they did tours and he asked if we could have one and they said yes. This tour was the highlight of the day for me.
We got to see how their paper is made from cotton pulp, which they get in sheets and soak in water.
They make paper in a way that is remarkably identical to how it was done in Gutenberg's time, it was almost like watching a documentary about the dawn of the printing press!
They make normal rectangular sheets of white paper as well as different colors and different shapes.
Unlike Gutenberg, they do not typically use moveable type. Most design is done on the computer and then resin plates are created in a process similar to printing a circuit board.
If they need to cut the paper down to a different size, they have many forms. Including one specially made for Al Gore's presidential campaign!
The pressses are, however, all quite old (the newest is from the 1950s and the oldest is from the late 1800s)
Two presses were running, and they were mesmerizing to watch. I was reminded of my own desire to have a small printing press of my own—if only they weren't so expensive if you want one complete and in working condition.